The radical invention Belgium needs

A leading Belgian artisan brewer said he has been forced to temporarily halt production because of an unusually warm autumn, blaming climate change for night-time temperatures that are too warm to produce beer.

The cellar.

14 thoughts on “The radical invention Belgium needs”

  1. To be fair “Tradition dictates that the fermentation mixture must be left to cool “in the open air so that it is naturally infused with the wild yeasts present in the air” would indicate a cellar wouldn’t help much.
    Being a dedicated appreciator of Belgian beer, I might have found the single thing might cause me to be concerned about climate change. Although we could always move Belgium a little further north, couldn’t we?

  2. What about Wadworth’s Old Timer; the equal of any Belgian beer?That used to be brewed only in winter (in Wiltshire I believe) Must stop :have raging nostalgic thirst at 10.07.

  3. DBC Reed,

    Yes. Down in Devizes. But it’s not brewed because of the temperature at that time, more that it’s what people like to drink in winter. Like most breweries they’re using heat exchangers to do the cooling (I think Hook Norton air cool their beer).

  4. Hook Norton used to have a massive open copper tank at the top of their tower brewery for cooling the beer, but I believe they now use a heat exchanger.

  5. Tim, I think you’ll find that in Belgium cellars are used for the storage of children for the use of your friendly neighbourhood paedo.

    Austria runs the same system, I hear.

  6. I would be a little slower to point the finger at ‘Climate Change’ and more inclined to consider the effect of the 50 000 visitors he welcomes every year. Each of us carries heaven knows what in the form of wild yeast spores (some of them VERY unpleasant) and he is relying on wild yeasts to ferment his beer.
    Global travel has dramatically increased the risk of cross infections, a problem unheard of in his grandfather’s day.
    Modern brewers have to be very careful not to allow contamination of their yeasts, as the problem of uncontrolled spontaneous fermentation is frequently the result of unwanted yeasts in the fermentation vessels.

  7. @TS
    When I lived in Swindon we tried to drink Old Timer all year long and were told that it could not be produced in Summer because it wouldn’t ferment properly then.There was a steady demand for it:I think it was bottled.Just wasn’t available on draught.Am now thirsty and confused (Quick: time for a majorly bad tempered treatise on Land Value Tax.)

  8. Wadworth were known in the trade as ‘dirty’ beers. This was because the brews were marginal as to yeast type and were prone to re-ferment and sour in the casks. The casks were always wooden and not easy to clean. With modern bio-chemistry, steam cleaning and aluminium casks the problem has gone away. The beers, however, have never tasted quite as good…

  9. Climate change just delivered me a miserable cold October here in Malta, and October is usually my favourite ‘goldilocks’ month. I swear my swimming pool made my balls disappear. Something definitely needs to be done, because I pay a fucking premium for that (currently unusable) swimming pool.

  10. Nick

    Read up on Lambic beers. It is indeed beer left in a shallow tank and exposed to whatever wild yeasts float in. They do not sweep the floors of those attics nor do they remove spider webs….it is natural fermentation for better or worse. But the fermentation process is surely going to kill off pathogens.

    DBCR should probably read up on Lambic beers to understand the conditions when a genuine Lambic can be brewed. Unfortunately, many beers sold as lambic or gueuze these days – the ones picked up by SAB Miller etc, such as Mort Subite – are no longer brewed traditionally but depend on a vacuum-cleaner method of pumping yeasty dust over the surface of an enclosed brew vessel.

  11. Oh and genuine lambic cannot be brewed all year round…that is why they developed gueuze.

    They are learning the lessons in Oregon, the beervana state of the USA. (Hint to BIS)

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